Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents

Ellen G. White: The Early Years: 1827-1862 (vol. 1)

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    The Rescue of S. W. Rhodes

    S. W. Rhodes had labored diligently and effectively in the Advent Awakening in 1843 and 1844. He was a man of means, which he dedicated to spreading the message. When the time of the expected advent of Christ passed in 1844, Rhodes was humiliated. He withdrew from public contact and secluded himself in a forest in the heart of New York State, sustaining himself by hunting and fishing and raising a small garden. Hiram Edson knew where Rhodes was and twice journeyed by foot to the hideout and tried to persuade him to rejoin his brethren. Both attempts failed.1BIO 196.2

    On November 7, 1849, Edson started a third time in an attempt to rescue Rhodes. After walking fourteen miles, he felt impressed to turn back. With Rhodes uppermost in Edson's mind, he attended the conference at Centerport, New York, on Sabbath and Sunday, November 17 and 18. There he met Brethren Ralph and Belden, who had come from Connecticut, and James and Ellen White, who had come from nearby Oswego. The meeting was a “refreshing season.”1BIO 197.1

    At the close of the conference, Edson told Ralph about Rhodes. He discovered that both he and Ralph were impressed that they should visit Rhodes together. That evening a half dozen joined in a season of prayer over the Rhodes case. Hiram Edson reported:1BIO 197.2

    Brother Ralph asked the Lord, in secret, to pour out his Spirit upon us if it was His will that we should go after Brother Rhodes.1BIO 197.3

    The Spirit was poured out, and it settled upon us, so that the place was awful, and glorious. While I was inquiring of the Lord if He had sent His servant so far to go with me to hunt up Brother Rhodes, at that moment Brother Ralph broke out in a new tongue, unknown to us all. Then came the interpretation—“Yes, to go with thee.”—The Present Truth, December, 1849.1BIO 197.4

    The group knew that neither James nor Ellen White had much faith in the interest that was felt for Rhodes, and she cautioned Ralph “to be sure to get a clear duty from the Lord.” She told him that she thought Edson's feelings for Rhodes were mere sympathy. Edson continues the story:1BIO 197.5

    The next morning we had a season of prayer, and the Spirit was richly poured out, and the Lord gave Sister White the following vision, which was contrary to her former opinion and feeling relating to our going after Brother Rhodes, up to the time that the Spirit took her off in vision.— Ibid.1BIO 197.6

    From the account of the vision as recorded in Present Truth we quote the heart of the message:1BIO 197.7

    While in vision the angel pointed to the earth, where I saw Brother Rhodes in thick darkness; but he still bore the image of Jesus. I saw it was the will of God that Brethren Edson and Ralph should go.1BIO 197.8

    Then I was shown Brother Rhodes's past labors in the Advent cause; that he had been mighty in word and in deed. I saw him standing before the people, with the Bible in his hand, and a stream of light coming from his mouth, which found its way to the hearts of the people.... I saw that he had proclaimed the Advent with great confidence, and had shown his faith by his works, and when the time passed, the disappointment was very great....1BIO 198.1

    I saw that Jesus was pleading His blood for Brother Rhodes, and that the angel was ready to enroll his name, as soon as he would come out of that dark place, and stand on all the present truth.... I saw that Brethren Edson and Ralph should make him believe there was hope and mercy for him, and tear him away, then he would come among the flock; and that angels would attend them on their journey.—Ibid., 35.1BIO 198.2

    Shortly after the vision, the two men started on their way to rescue Rhodes. They found him at work in a field by the Black River. They told him that they had come in the name of the Lord to get him to go with them to see the brethren and go with them into the kingdom. Again there was a speaking in an unknown tongue. Hiram Edson as eyewitness reported:1BIO 198.3

    God displayed His convincing power, and Brother Ralph spoke in a new tongue, and gave the interpretation in power, and in the demonstration of the Holy Ghost.—Ibid.1BIO 198.4

    Triumphantly, Hiram Edson reported:1BIO 198.5

    Brother Rhodes finally consented to come with us, and went about arranging his business in order to leave.... Friday, November 23, we returned as far as Brother Arnold's of Volney.... They were all rejoiced to see Brother Rhodes.—Ibid.

    The account closes with these words:1BIO 198.6

    He stands firm in all the present truth; and we heartily bid him Godspeed as he goes to search out and feed the precious, scattered flock of Jesus.—Ibid.

    Records of the influence and work of Elder Rhodes following this experience attest to his effective ministry.1BIO 198.7

    One point in connection with this experience is of particular interest, namely, the coolness of Ellen White toward the demonstration of speaking in an unknown tongue. She was unconvinced until a vision was given to her directly by God that the rescue of Elder Rhodes was in harmony with God's will.1BIO 199.1

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents